April wakes up with the intern, Vik, in her bed. She wakes him up and tells him he needs to go. Their deal is that he never sleeps over, but he has apparently done it a few times already. Vik remembers that April was supposed to post the rules of the contest this morning.
At the hospital, Maggie, Amelia, Alex, Owen, Meredith, Webber and Jackson wait for the rules to be posted. Maggie says she has five ideas on what she might submit, and Alex says he doesn’t have any yet. Jackson announces that he’s working on spray-on skin. April slumps into work hungover and everyone bombards her with questions.
- The proposal must be three pages.
- 25 proposals will be chosen to receive $100,000 in seed money.
- After phase two, five will receive $1 million in grant money.
- The winner will receive $5 million.
Jackson asks about the judges, and April says she’s assembled surgeons from Seattle hospitals to judge.
In the pediatric ward, a girl is belting out Maybe This Time from Cabaret. (A song I personally love.) Everyone in the area is watching and listening, and applause breaks out when the song is over. Alex high fives her, and she walks with her doctors back into her room. She’s very upbeat and pleasant. She says cancer has kept her for auditioning for years, and she’s excited for her head CT so she can be told that she doesn’t have cancer and can audition this year.
Meredith has to tell Webber’s friend with a failing liver that he doesn’t qualify for a transplant and many other procedures. All she can do is make the rest of his life comfortable. As an addiction, he doesn’t want any pain meds, saying he wants to be clean when he meets his maker. Webber later asks Meredith what her idea is for the new contest, but she doesn’t have one. It makes him feel better that Harper Avery Winner, Meredith Grey hasn’t thought of anything either.
Catherine calls Jackson into a conference room to meet Dr. Michelle Velez. He starts to tell Velez about his idea for spray-on skin, but she’s here to present her own idea. She states the problem with the current vaginoplasties. She believes it they use tissue from the peritoneum, the manufactured vaginas would be more realistic. It’s a tissue that regenerates itself, which means taking a small portion from it shouldn’t be risky. Velez points out that this technique could not only improve the lives of trans-women, but also women who have lost their vaginally canals to cancer. Jackson says that Velez is one of the top plastic surgeons in the nation, so he doesn’t see why she’s even presenting this to him. She says that she is the trial subject and can’t operate on herself. Who didn’t see that one coming?
Jo tells her interns that any work they do on these projects must be done on their own time, and they won’t be given any leeway.
Jackson doesn’t want to work with his mom on anything that has to do with genitals because Catherine is too inappropriate and makes him uncomfortable. He says his mom should work with Velez, but that he already has a better pitch for the contest. He walks away and Catherine calls after him, “Jackson Avery, you are such a disappointment! I thought you were woke!”
Alex and Amelia give their patient a head CT, but unfortunately her cancer is back. Amelia says they have to operate, and that she has to be awake while they do (presumably so they can test her motor function as they go).
Judy (Meredith’s patient from a couple of episodes ago) is back, complaining of the same symptoms she had before her splenectomy. There’s no sign of infection or obstruction. Meredith instructs Jo and Helm to take Judy up to CT to get some answers. Helm runs after Meredith, asking what she’s going to do for the contest, but Meredith doesn’t answer.
Bailey calls Glasses to her house, as she is on bed rest. She doesn’t give him any details about why she’s on bed rest, but writes a list of supplies she needs. He brings back beakers, stoppers, and tubing.
Amelia tells DeLuca and Samantha that tonight they’ll need to research all of the options for awake brain surgery and narrow it down to two options for her. Once Amelia is out of the room, Sam opens a bag of chips. DeLuca comments on it being the fourth bag she’s eaten today. He says that it’s distracting and also apparently sexy. When she continues eating, DeLuca decides to put on a sexy song that the two of them share a history with, and he dances a little. She yells “Stop trying to seduce me!” and runs out of the room.
Webber and Maggie go to salsa lessons. Webber wants to learn to salsa for his wife, Catherine. Maggie says her mom and dad took salsa lessons for their 20th anniversary. With her mom’s death last year, Maggie chokes up. She thought she’d be able to talk about her mom without crying, but she couldn’t. She speculates that it’s probably because she started dating recently, and she wants to tell her mom all about it.
Judy’s CT scan shows that her spleen has been replaced with several tiny spleens that regenerated themselves.
Arizona comes back to work after taking some time off after losing Karen post-childbirth. Carina says she can only imagine how hard that would be, and Arizona is shocked to find out that Carina has never lost a mother.
Jackson’s intern is flustered around him and accidentally calls him attractive instead of talented. When Catherine walks in, his intern is all too relieved to have the opportunity to walk out. Catherine says that Jackson is years and millions of dollars away from making his spray-on skin, whereas this operation is an opportunity to advance medicine right now. Jackson doesn’t see the need in changing vaginoplasties when they already exist. Catherine counters with how much money a year is spent on pills for erectile dysfunction, and says if there’s a way to better something, why not try. She leaves her son with one final thought: the suicide-attempt rate for people with gender dysphoria is 41%.
With Kimmie’s skull open, she sings Maybe This Time as they test her motor skills while stimulating her brain. Amelia says that speech and singing are different parts of the brain, so they test the two separately. Singing is fine, but once they have her speak the lyrics, her words jumble and she’s saying nonsense. The tumor is too close to her speech center. They won’t be able to resect the tumor without taking away her ability to speak.
On her date with Clive, Maggie gets an alert on her phone reminding her that she’s supposed to be at salsa lessons with Webber. Clive jokes about it being an excuse to leave, but Maggie assures him that she likes him. The two kiss and Maggie heads off to see her papa.
Alex and Amelia suggest the basic chemo/radiation to Kimmie’s mom, but she doesn’t accept these options. She demands that they come up with something else.
Vik brings April coffee, but she runs away. (A stronger woman than I am. I can’t resist coffee.) She ducks into the room Arizona is in and starts to rant about hiding from her sex intern. Arizona is focused on her own thing, though: the mom death rate. 26.4/100,000. She says that America’s death rate is 6x higher than Italy’s. April interprets this more as a lecture, since she didn’t catch Karen’s symptoms which led to her death. Arizona says it isn’t about her, but April is still uneasy.
Meredith is impressed by and envious of Jackson’s spray-on skin idea, but she notices he doesn’t seem very excited about it. He says, “Thanks to my mother, all I can think about is vaginas.” He thinks spray-on skin is more likely to win, but using the peritoneum in vaginoplasties would be revolutionary in gender affirmation surgeries. However, spray-on skin would be revolutionary for all surgery. He says the new vaginoplasty procedure would only impact 1% of the population. Meredith notes that that’s still 75 million people, which Jackson hadn’t thought about.
The interns research their respective projects. Alex and Amelia come in and ask DeLuca and Sam to start researching how to remove a tumor from a little girl without cutting into her brain.
Meredith marvels over Judy’s multi-mini-spleens. Jo comments that it’s too bad Judy didn’t regenerate something useful like livers or kidneys. Meredith has Helm record her while she has an idea on creating mini livers.
Owen and Parker discuss the patent on the 33 Triple-C polymer held by a doctor in Madrid. It would be too expensive for them to use that for the contest. They approach the ambulance in the pit, and there’s a new EMT whose finger was bitten off by the seizing man they were transporting. As Owen pulls the finger out of the man’s throat, Owen decides that he doesn’t need to compete in this contest because he competes with death every day, and he usually wins.
Bailey asks Glasses to bring her a measuring tape, latex gloves, and a turkey baster. He speaks up, saying everything today is making him feel uncomfortable and unsafe. She shows him the blueprints of her prototype for the contest, and Glasses relaxes until she says that it goes up your rectum.
DeLuca and Sam were unsuccessful in finding a solution for Kimmie, but Amelia has an idea, triggered by a comment earlier about high notes shattering glass. She thinks that a high-frequency ultrasound wave could shatter the tumor. It’s never been done in the brain, but she and Alex will submit it to the innovation contest. It’ll take a while to test and develop, so in the meantime, Kimmie will need to do chemo and radiation.
Jackson had his intern write his proposal for spray-on skin. When she gives it to him, she says the other Dr. Avery had her write up the proposal for the updated vaginoplasty, and she thinks that operation idea is very cool and worth a second look. Jackson runs into Maggie and asks what her Big Idea is. She wants to LVADs that recharge through the skin, so that there are no wires. All of the doctors hand in their proposals to April.
April storms into the conference room that April is in, talking about Karen again. April says this obsession isn’t healthy, but Arizona says that this is what she is going to study. She says it wasn’t either of their fault that she died, but that that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still work to fix this problem in America.
The panel of judges assembles and goes over all of the entries (though we only hear about those by surgeons at Grey Sloan). First up is Meredith and Jo. Jo is surprised to see her own name on the paper next to Meredith’s, but Mer says she wants Jo as her partner on this. Second is Jackson, who chose the vaginoplasties with Catherine and Velez. Webber is working on a path pen. The pen can identify healthy tissue or cancerous tissue. Maggie, of course, has her LVAD that recharges through the skin. Bailey’s is “The Rectal Access Port for hydro colonoscopy.” Lastly, Alex and Amelia’s high frequency ultrasound for brain tumors.
At the bar after work, Arizona tells Carina that she wants her to be her partner for her research, since Italy’s mortality rate is lower. Carina asks if she really wants to be partners only for the studies, and then the two share a kiss.
Owen wishes Jackson, Meredith and Jo luck on their projects. The price of the patent kept Owen from even submitting a proposal. He asks Meredith how she managed to get access to that patent. She doesn’t answer, but it’s clear she hadn’t thought about the patent. The results are posted for the first wave of the contest. Based on their reactions, Maggie, Arizona, Jackson, and Meredith made it. Alex and Amelia, however, were turned down, which not only sucks for them on a personal level, but now Kimmie’s tumor seems helpless.
Can’t wait to see where everyone’s projects take them. Grey’s is taking a mini-hiatus but will be back Thursday, March 1st!